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The Pentax FF K1 DSLR is out: Ephotozine Review!


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#21 Brightcolours

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 03:18 PM

An interesting but ultimately flawed point of view.

 

Pentax come up with the Q, and the K-01... when the choice of making a proper mirrorless camera system wasn't an option. Both were developed while Hoya was preparing to sell them to Ricoh.

 

The old full frame project was canceled because of the sensor, and the other camera using the same sensor (Contax) failed miserably.

 

Pentax has more FF K-mount lenses than the Sony FE.

 

Last but not least, going mirrorless - what you seems to think it's the "right" kind of camera - wouldn't solve any one of those points. On the contrary, on the lens side things would've been much more dire.

The old FF "project" was not canceled due to the sensor. Contax was the 1st one to come with a FF sensor DSLR, actually, announced in 2000 and came to market in 2002 using a Philips 6mp sensor. The really old Pentax FF project which was based on the same sensor was canceled on 2001. That was even before Canon came with its 1st FF sensor DSLR.

 

But Pentax has been showing FF mock up "prototypes" all through the FF DSLR height (or hype?) last 1.5 decade. So, a bit odd to only mention their very first flirtations with FF.

 

Sony now has some very impressive lenses (counting Zeiss, and other 3rd party offerings), just no good body. All hampered with bad ergonomics, tiny badly layed out controls, poor battery life and bad RAW format.

 

So, now you have the choice of a impressively specced Pentax K1 for everything except fast tracking photography, with a lens line up which leaves some to be desired, and on the Sony side a plethora of small and not too attractive to use FF bodies with some very impressive lenses. 

And then you have Nikon and Canon with their much bigger following, with mostly well thought out DSLR bodies and pretty full range of lenses.

 

Indeed, going mirrorless will not solve anything. You probably will end up with yet another small, not so ergonomic camera, with bad battery life, all the downsides that come with EVF, and no lens line up.

 

I do hope that the K1 will find buyers in big enough numbers.



#22 Kunzite

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 10:17 PM

Yes, maybe, but what does Ricoh/Pentax gain now? After the FF hype is slowly fading out and the mirrorless hype about to start? Coming up with a project which will rest like lead in the shelves? Which dealer will dare to present Pentax while there are so many equally good Canon/Nikon/Sony bodies out or expected? Having more lenses than Sony in the portfolio - what kind of surprise ist that meant to be?

 

Interesting point of view, though perhaps a bit out of touch with reality. As things stands, I still can't get my K-1 because the demand outstrips the supply.

The surprise was if Pentax made a FF MILC and it would be 1/10th as successful as the K-1.



#23 Kunzite

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 10:44 PM

The old FF "project" was not canceled due to the sensor. Contax was the 1st one to come with a FF sensor DSLR, actually, announced in 2000 and came to market in 2002 using a Philips 6mp sensor. The really old Pentax FF project which was based on the same sensor was canceled on 2001. That was even before Canon came with its 1st FF sensor DSLR.

 

But Pentax has been showing FF mock up "prototypes" all through the FF DSLR height (or hype?) last 1.5 decade. So, a bit odd to only mention their very first flirtations with FF.

 

Sony now has some very impressive lenses (counting Zeiss, and other 3rd party offerings), just no good body. All hampered with bad ergonomics, tiny badly layed out controls, poor battery life and bad RAW format.

 

So, now you have the choice of a impressively specced Pentax K1 for everything except fast tracking photography, with a lens line up which leaves some to be desired, and on the Sony side a plethora of small and not too attractive to use FF bodies with some very impressive lenses. 

And then you have Nikon and Canon with their much bigger following, with mostly well thought out DSLR bodies and pretty full range of lenses.

 

Indeed, going mirrorless will not solve anything. You probably will end up with yet another small, not so ergonomic camera, with bad battery life, all the downsides that come with EVF, and no lens line up.

 

I do hope that the K1 will find buyers in big enough numbers.

 

AFAIK the old FF project was indeed canceled due to the sensor (though I'm not 100% sure if it was because of subpar image quality, outrageous price or both). The Contax did it, and died; it was such a glorious suicide! ;)

 

No, Pentax has not been showing FF mock up "prototypes" last 1.5 decade; what on Earth are you talking about?

And they never promised to make a FF DSLR (after the 2001 project), right until the end of 2012.

 

Sony has 16 FE lenses, 3 years after the first A7-series camera - an impressive effort; but they started with 5 in 2013. Pentax is starting with 15 official FF-compatible lenses (though those are including 2 old "regular" FA lenses, and the 3 FA Limiteds), and there are many others which are not on the official list.

While the primes scheduled for 2017 or later are badly needed, one can't say that Pentax has few lenses without admitting Sony FEs are fewer. And especially without admitting that making a new, mirrorless system means that you'd count the lenses on the fingers of one hand.

 

As for sales, the K-1 was never meant to sell in huge numbers - the initial production volume being a mere 7000 units per month (or about 1% of the total DSLRs produced). Sure, the initial production volume is absolutely insufficient to cope with the demand, so one could conclude that it indeed found buyers "in big enough numbers".



#24 JoJu

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Posted 17 May 2016 - 11:14 PM

Interesting point of view, though perhaps a bit out of touch with reality. As things stands, I still can't get my K-1 because the demand outstrips the supply.

The surprise was if Pentax made a FF MILC and it would be 1/10th as successful as the K-1.

So, I was more than right - if there's a shortage in supply, even worse. Because after all remaining Pentaxians went for their K1, you will still see no K1 body in the shops.  ^_^

 

The longest lens is a DA 560mm - for APS-C (if I'm not mistaken by the DA explanation). Okay, they say it covers the 35 mm circle, why not. Besides of those 3 lenses "which cover the 35 mm circle", I see 12 lenses, no portrait tele (77 mm is a bit short), no shift lenses, one f/1.4 lens - come on, this "portfolio" has more gaps than choice. Using old manual glass? Why not, enjoy the focusing. :D  

 

The shortest is the Tamron 15-30 labelled with Pentax and costing quite a bit more than the genuine Tamron for CaNikon. 



#25 Klaus

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 02:42 PM

You can't seriously take the Sony DSLR system as a reference - this system is essentially dead.

Pentax competes with Canon EOS and Nikon F so 16 lenses is a bit on the slim side here really.

 

FWIW, Sony FE has 15 +3 +3 native lenses now.

 

And, of course, Pentax had a window of opportunity in the mirrorless sector.

Pentax has always been the king of miniaturization. 

The Q was released with the tiny sensor because their marketing was terrified by the idea that mirrorless could eat their DSLR sales. The K-01 was a joke - sorry to say that. You can't just take a K-mount camera without a mirror and sell that as a competitor to native mirrorless cameras. This was clearly missing the point. 

Of course, they were not alone with their misconception of the mirrorless segment. Both Canon and Nikon were as stupid whereas Sony, Oly/Pana and Fuji - who had nothing to lose - went in full throttle leaving CaNiPe in the dust.

 

And please don't tell us that Pentax FF stopped because of the sensor. Sony offered a reliable 6mp sensor back in 2004. They merely had to incorporate it like Minolta or Nikon.

 

Again, Pentax has great engineers but a marketing beyond believe. I'm sure the K-1 is an awesome camera so if you go for it have lots of fun!


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#26 Brightcolours

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 03:10 PM

Neither Minolta nor Nikon ever  incorporated a 6mp FF sensor... Nikon's first FF sensor was at least partly their ow design and 12mp, and Minolta never had a FF sensor in a DSLR.

 

Pentax did use the same 6mp APS-C CCD as Minolta and Nikon used.



#27 Klaus

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 11:10 PM

Neither Minolta nor Nikon ever  incorporated a 6mp FF sensor... Nikon's first FF sensor was at least partly their ow design and 12mp, and Minolta never had a FF sensor in a DSLR.

 

Pentax did use the same 6mp APS-C CCD as Minolta and Nikon used.

 

 

Neither Minolta nor Nikon ever  incorporated a 6mp FF sensor... Nikon's first FF sensor was at least partly their ow design and 12mp, and Minolta never had a FF sensor in a DSLR.

 

Pentax did use the same 6mp APS-C CCD as Minolta and Nikon used.

 

Ahh, sorry, this is correct - I mixed up stuff there.

Still - they had the opportunity to use Sony FF sensors for years.


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#28 Kunzite

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 10:39 PM

JoJu, you were talking about "a project which will rest like lead in the shelves"- how is that even remotely similar to dealers not being to bring enough cameras to sell? It's the exact opposite.

 

The DA 560mm, together with the DA* 200mm and the DA* 300mm, are full frame lenses - that's official, claimed by Ricoh Imaging.

A few other DA lenses are compatible without any noticeable vignetting or loss of sharpness, but they're not recognized by Ricoh Imaging as being proper full frame.

 

Klaus, both the Q and the K-01 were made just as Hoya was preparing to sell Pentax to Ricoh. The 2011 was an awful year, with zero K-mount products.

I don't think their marketing was afraid of anything. I think Pentax simply lacked fundings to do anything relevant. So they did a compact with interchangeable lenses, and a "K-30" without a viewfinder&PDAF system.

 

The opportunity to use Sony FF sensors for years doesn't amount to much, when the owning company's strategy is cost cutting and personnel reduction. Pentax had to break free from Hoya and get into Ricoh's hands; as soon as it was done, the FF project started.



#29 dave's clichés

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 01:20 AM

I didn't notice this thread was still sneaking along in the wings.. 

 

 The bottom line is that Pentax have done what everybody said they couldn't..

 1. Continue in business.

 2. Produce a quality FF body with an IQ that improves on Nikon D810...and that is no mean feat,   the pixel shift technology is breathtakingly excellent and makes it the best landscape FF DSLR on the market for 60% of the cost of the best competition.

 3. They have done what they did with the D645Z, produced a camera where the demand outstrips supply.

 

Like all the best tricks of course, it's all done with mirrors! ..(and prisms and other optical niceties)

 

 

 

Speaking of MLCs, a little bird told me that Sony have signed up with Tesla's Elon Musk!

 (fitting charging stations in churches to adapt the A7S for shooting weddings no doubt!)



#30 JoJu

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 07:05 AM

I like to poop the party a bit: 

  • How long did they have it in development?
  • How long did it take them to make a camera which overtakes a 2 years old one which itself was an evolution from a 4 years old one?
  • How long will it take until Adobe fully supports Pentax' pixel shift? So far you need to use the crappy Silky Pix to get correct RAWs out of it. Today, "Limited" is not only the name of two or three lenses to be used with it.
  • Mirrors and prisms and other optical niceties without inbuilt AF adjustment? Yawn. And again a potential buyer will have to wait until FoCal supports this thing - if they do at all.

 

To me Pentax can make the most super camera there is: too much downsides just because they are the exotic manufacturer will make me not buy it, I learnt enough out of that mistake and I wont't pay dearly a second time.  :P

 

You want to use your old Pentax glas with it? Have fun focusing with the "optical niceties" (besides, after mirror and prism there is no more of them) or see how fast Pentax LiveView will drain the battery. Also, I would not want to make too much jokes out of Sony, Tesla or whatever as long as there is no DSLR focusing 100% with each lens out of the box and as long as Sony provides the Sensors - even to your darling Pentax  ^_^ we'll see how far Pentax comes without Sony sensors.

 

Yeah, Kudos to them they did it - I just use to take my pictures with camera, less with Kudos. If I want to go exotic I already have a collection.

 

Of Sigma Merrills  :D



#31 dave's clichés

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 07:49 AM

 JoJu, it never crossed my mind for a moment that you represented a future potential Pentax FF customer! :rolleyes:

 

BTW. " All"  Pentax models have inbuilt AF adjustment right across the range and have had since and including the K20. BTW you can even calibrate in AF fine tune the viewfinder manual focusing aid (beep with pink square)

 So I think that's indeed the point, lot's of people are having fun manual focusing and I don't mind doing some with my couple of MF dinosaur Russian lenses, sometimes I even nail the eyes...sometimes!

 

The world is a a huge palette of flavours and tastes.....long may it be so! 



#32 JoJu

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 08:13 AM

You didn't get it, dave: It's not the possibility to change a value of AF adjustment (all current "enthusiast" DSLRs close to semi-pro have that feature - and why do they have it? ^_^  Right, because they need it), it's the inbuilt adjustment to do it depending on the camera's own LiveView at least quicker than shooting a bunch of test shots against a well and even lit contrasty target - like we see in D500 / D5 as a first in DSLRs. Oh, I nearly forgot: this adjustment is for one FL and for one distance vaild...  :D

 

Oh, and K-m and K-x didn't have AFMA, so no, not all Pentax' have that feature. Hence my troubles with a lens that wouldn't focus properly.

 

If you believe in pink lights and beeps, fine. I rather enjoy to see the focus at the place I'm interested in on sensor plane. I'm sorry, but the way you describe it ("even fine tune the manual focus in viewfinder") tells me you never did that for yourself and you don't know how mediocre the precision of this pink light beeping technique is? But well, let's not split hairs, somebody who needs manual focus will stop down and who cares of the focus is where it should be?

 

Besides, how long took it Nikon to make the D300s successor...  ;)



#33 dave's clichés

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 10:37 AM

" Oh, and K-m and K-x didn't have AFMA, so no, not all Pentaxs have that feature".

 

 

"But well, let's not split hairs",....Good idea!  :)

 

Anyway I'll remember all that when I'm shooting BIF and nature with my new S/H (coming before the weekend) Nikor AF-S 500mm ED IF F4 lens and the Nikon AF-S 1.4EII 14 teleconverter.

 

   Perhaps we could have shoot-out JoJu......Nikon vs Fuji!

 

Sparrows in flight at fifty paces?

 

I'll lend you my binoculars.... B)



#34 Kunzite

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 11:21 AM

JoJu, don't waste your time, tell us - which is the oh-so-much-better-than-Pentax brand we all should jump to? ;)

 

No matter what you do, you cannot hide the truth - that Pentax made an amazing camera, especially considering its price. And your "arguments" are quite weak, honestly.

 

Do you realize the D500 is more expensive than the K-1, despite being an APS-C body? I'm not even talking about the medium-format priced D5. So, it better have performance and features to match its price.

 

Do you realize the K-x is a 7-year old camera, long replaced? Dave is correct, all Pentax cameras have inbuilt AF adjustment. There's only the small point that some models after the K20D didn't had it.


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#35 JoJu

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 12:13 PM

All current Pentax cameras would hit the nail, Kunzite  ^_^ And I'm not talking about the fact, one could change the AF micro-adjustment. I'm talking about Nikon D5/D500 can use LiveView to calibrate this adjustment onboard, meaning

  • whereever I am
  • whenever I need it
  • without a studio setup
  • without additional software
  • without additional hardware like focus rulers or targets

 
Yes, the K-1 is an amazing camera - but that doesn't it make an amazing system. And it doesn't help of all the other "weak" issues owners will have with it, such as

  • reduced support of RAW-converters, apps for tethered shooting, focusstacking apps, you name it...
  • Pentax is the least supported brand and I don't know many traders with faith for Pentax
  • no big choice of current 3rd party lenses,
  • a general lack of optical specialities like tilt-shift, long FL macros, macro with flash or LED inbuilt, fish-eye, UW, long tele-zoom...

K-m and K-x also were "amazing cameras" - for their price tag and for some features like in-body-anti-shake or even the ability to use normal AA-cells either rechargeable or not (I mean, how cool is that?). And the weather sealing is one of the best on the market. But speed-wise, AF-speed-wise: nothing to write home about...
 

Do you realize the D500 is more expensive than the K-1


No, I don't realize - because it simply is not true. The K-1 here in Switzerland costs 200 francs more than a D500. Still, an excellent price for that high featured FF K-1.

 

Last thing, Kunzite, I don't care a single bit about your verdict of my arguments. Find them weak or whatever, you go Pentax and I somewhere else and both is fine.  :D

 

I think - without irony - for all remaining Pentaxians the K-1 is more than they could hope for. And they had not longer to wait for than people waiting for a D500 (which I would not see as really "hot" or "gimme one now, taht's all I ever need!", but it has this lens adjustment feature Pentax and others and other Nikons, too, lack of.)

For all other brands: Not enough reason and safety for investment to switch, especially not enough range of lenses. If Pentax has to buy lensdesign from Tamron (15-30 and 24-70), to me that also says something about R&D capacities.



#36 Kunzite

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 01:24 PM

Oh, so two very expensive (in one case, very expensive for an APS-C camera) have a new feature, and Pentax is doomed because they don't have the same feature. Really.  :rolleyes:

Do the D500 and D5 have a 35mm-format high resolution sensor? With Pixel Shift Resolution? If you play the "missing feature" game, play it fairly.

 

If the Pentax FF system is adequate or not, it depends on some exact requirements. Nobody is denying the limitations, but you're going much further - let's remember how you decided that the K-1 is "a project which will rest like lead in the shelves". I know the word describing that... I won't use it yet, though.

 

The D500 is more expensive than the K-1 in the U.S. and various European countries (e.g. France, Germany).

 

I don't think you're fine with people choosing differently, seeing your posts. I think you have some "revolution" to force on us ;)


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#37 Kunzite

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 01:41 PM

By the way, Silkipix appears to properly support PSR, and 3 types of tethering - wireless from a smartphone/tablet, LightRoom plugin and standalone application - are supported. Traders lacking "faith" are simply refusing to sell, which makes me doubt their business sense. Long tele-zoom, 150-450?

There's still much to be done, Hoya's cost cutting did hurt; but things aren't so bad.



#38 JoJu

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 02:35 PM

I don't think you're fine with people choosing differently, seeing your posts. I think you have some "revolution" to force on us ;)

 

I'm not fine with people cheering at a possible dead-end system and not recognizing the limits. You were the one who said the demand is higher than production. Now, how high is production? More than 5.000, 10.000 per month? Worldwide?

 

Here's the target of Nikon in 2012: 30.000 D800 and 5.000 D4 per month, I'm not able to get contemporary targets.

 

The pixel shift feature is a limited one: Always and only on tripod, moving objects can become a problem, so far no RAW-converter supporting it except Silky Pix (which I dislike, no matter it's the Nikon or Pentax version). But of course, in time this will change (hopefully). So, on a windy day, no help for landscapes - but great to have it in a studio. And it's made to increase the color resolution. But, as DPreview also stated: "One other downside of older primes, as we've mentioned before, is that they might not seem as amazing on 36MP as they did on film. But you can always downsize your files, stop the lens down, or do what I did: ignore it and get on with shooting."

 

If I need to downsize 36 MP to get decent sharpness, what's the sense of 36 MP? I'm only saying this because choice between a lot of old vintage lenses doesn't mean the same as choice between a lot of very good (and also third party) lenses. I would really miss the option to use Sigma lenses. Most Art / Sports versions are only Canon, Nikon or Sigma.

 

The prices here range from CHF 1.967.- for a Nikon D500 (and you're right, this can't be a comparison sample, but again, I was just veryfying your "K-1 is cheaper than D500") and from CHF 2.150.-...2.400.- for a K-1.

However, in Germany you're statement makes perfect sense: 2.325 € for D500 (at not less than 27 dealers at exactly the same  2.329.- :blink: ), 1.999.- € for K-1 (at not less than 11 dealers without a single cent difference - interesting...). I'm sorry, but I was concluding the difference and the direction of which is more expensive is about the same in Germany. My bad.

 

No, I'm in no "revolution" to force on you, as I said, you take Pentax or what you like and I something else which appears to be appropriate to what I want. Also, great to have this alternative for each Pentaxian and for each person new to DSLR and wishing to start with FF. If I would take a lot of pictures in bad weather, I would feel more safe with a K-1 than with any Nikon as I would not want to use a Nikon half submerged.

 

I started with Pentax because at the time it was a very good value of an APS-C entry level camera. But in time I was realizing how limited the Pentax system is, how bad the support from software I was interested in and how rarely I could buy one in a regular camera shop, not to mention to try one or to borrow a lens to find out if it suits me. I experienced that in Germany, Switzerland and UK, less so in France.

 

If you live in a place with bigger choice of Pentax dealers - great. I'm just fed up with buying things I didn't try before.



#39 Kunzite

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 03:15 PM

You're not fine with people cheering for a different product than you do? ;)

I already said, the initial production volume for the K-1 was established to 7,000 units per month. And I still can't get mine, I don't even know when I'll be able to...

 

Recognizing the limits is one thing, trying to spread FUD is another. You're not talking about the system's limitations; you're trying to convince us the K-1 "will rest like lead in the shelves".

 

Limited or not, the Pixel Shift Resolution can increase the image quality way beyond any other FF camera. The worst case scenario - the motion correction will fail and you'd resort to using the "normal resolution"; which is still up there with the best.

I can't see this as less significant as the ability to easily fine tune your lenses on the field (can't you prepare beforehand?)

 

Another "do you realize" - Pentax is in no competition with Nikon, regarding the number of units sold. And 2012 was an abnormal year, with camera makers vastly overestimating the market - they expected IIRC a 40% increase from the previous year. The market crashed. This is a false problem. Pentax K-1's success is not measured against Nikon's in their best year.

 

I have the Silkypix version of Silkypix...

 

The DPReview quote is talking about very old primes. The primes scheduled for "2017 or later" are needed, but the situation is not as dire as you're trying to convince us. After all, 36MP is about the same pixel density as on our old K-5s ;)

 

I should've realized and specified that D500 is cheaper on some markets (apparently in Japan, too). My bad. It doesn't change anything, as the D500 is still a very expensive APS-C camera (for good reason), while the K-1 is a very affordable FF.


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#40 JoJu

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Posted 24 May 2016 - 05:59 PM

If you need to turn around my words, go ahead. I'll not go down to that level.

 

I'm not trying to convince anybody. At least a blockhead like you, Pentax-blind.






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